It was a sweet second home coming for Trina. This 19-year-old girl from Denmark came down to Salem, a decade back, to trace her ancestral roots and biological parents.
She was, way back in 1992, discarded in a government cradle for abandoned children (Cradle Baby scheme of the Tamil Nadu Government), citing poverty as reason. She was just 9 months old then.
“I came to see my biological parents, sister, and brother,” she said.
When she met her parents for the first time in her life on December 26, 2003, she was excited. Kisses and hugs were freely exchanged while her adopted parents Susanna and Soren watched.
They posed for photographs without any inhibition.
But this time her meeting with her family was more intimate and was held behind closed doors at the Collectorate.
“Now she speaks English too fluently and Tamil in broken sentences, which made her mother Thailammal emotional,” said an official in Social Welfare Department.
Trina, nursing an ambition to pursue legal education in Denmark, met father Pachamuthu who is a labourer from Kannendri village near Salem, besides her younger sister and elder brother. She and her parents did not wish to be photographed since according to her father the “village people will talk ill of us for abandoning her.”
Thailammal wanted her daughter to visit them at least once in five years for which she nodded in agreement.
The parents were, however, happy that Trina, known then as Shanthi, was in the life’s comfort zone. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s pet scheme, Cradle Babies, has to a considerable extent helped eradicate the heinous practice of female infanticide and foeticide.
Salem, which was the first district where the scheme was launched 1992, has so far received 1,019 babies in its cradles.
“We have received 19 babies last year,” said the official.